Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fabulous Finds: Designer Cookies

These are truly a girls best friend, they're chocolate cookies that look like art. I mean have you ever seen a zebra print Oreo? How about a pink damask one? I can think of about 5 million ways to use all of these cookies.... engagement party, baby shower, bachelorette party, any kind of party, for thank yous or wedding favors... I could go on and on! I'll post some pics of my faves but there are dozens more. Go check out Sweeties By Kim on the Etsy front and see all the cute goodies she has to offer.


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Friday, July 30, 2010

A birthday fast approaching... a look back...

With HL's birthday coming up faster than I can stomach I decided it was time that I start commemorating this amazing year of our lives. I found the perfect scrapbooking album and got to work. I started sorting through pictures which of course brought me to tears... I wept as I went through the shots of our baby shower with our "inside baby" and the waterworks really started flowing when I dug out his hospital bracelets and birth announcement....

how amazing life is... truly amazing....

and why oh why does it have to go so fast...

These next few months are going to be another rollercoaster, and I know they are going to fly by, I just don't want my precious boy to grow up :::sniff:::

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Music Monday...on Thursday... my man BOB MARLEY!

It's been a long week so I'm a little behind on the updates... this week is in tribute to one of my all time favorite artists, the man, the legend, BOB. I cannot tell you how much I love reggae, it resonates deep in my bones and I'm a bit of a gypsy at heart.

Nothing is better than laying on the boat, floating in the water, with a drink in my hand, jamming to Bob, this is my slice of heaven and therefore it becomes my theme song for summer. This my friends is my all time favorite reggae song... (And those of you reading this in one of the readers and not actually visiting the blog to hear the jams on my playlist, you are missing out!)

::::dances away swaying hips::: "I wanna love you..... every day and every night....." Read more!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mom-Isms and the Mom Arsenal

You know those classic sayings that moms constantly whip out of their bag of tricks to guilt you into things... it's like a way of self teaching "I wouldn't do that if I were you"... phrases like this are intended to make the child think first and rationalize in their own head if what they are doing is a good idea. Ok who am I kidding, they're not meant to teach, they're like rhetorical questions! When Mom says I wouldn't do that if I were you that translates to "If you do that you're going to get your butt whipped!"

But here's the best part, now that I'm a Mom I get to pass on these verses of wisdom to the next generation and I fully intend to pull out the mom arsenal on HL, it's like a right of passage. The downside is that when you utter these phrases you get the all too familiar "oh my GAWD I sound just like my mother" feeling. Nonetheless, I present to you my faves from the Mom Arsenal...

You're going out dressed like that?? (a Dad favorite too)

Don't make me come in there!

How many times do I have to tell you?

I don't care who started it, YOU stop it!

I brought you into this world and I can take you back out!

I hope someday you have children just like you.

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!

I'll give you something to cry about.

You want to be treated like an adult, then you start acting like one!

Life isn't fair.

Money doesn't grow on trees.

There are starving children in Africa.

If everyone jumped off of a cliff would you?

Because I said so!

Go ask you father.

And I can't wait to add my own new and improved ones, I'm sure in 18 years I will have hundreds! Read more!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fabulous Finds! Teacupcakes & Cakewich

I just watched Alice n Wonderland a couple of nights ago (yes we're a bit behind the times here at the Maven house) and what an awesome movie! I loved it although I have to say it is in no way shape or form a KIDS movie... eek... it was a bit "dark" which is to be expected with Tim Burton in the mix. I mean 5 minutes in and they're cutting eyeballs off... yea... HL won't be watching this one for a few years ha! But I loved it and in spirit of that would you look at what I stumbled on!

Teacupcakes! They are silicon baking molds that are shaped like teacups, so you bake the cupcakes right into the teacups, is that not adorable or what! The kit also comes with little saucers so you can serve them alongside your tea party. It's $17.95 for the kit from Fred & Friends. These are the things I find and say that I need to have a girl next or poor HL will be sitting and having tea parties in tutus with me ;)

And if that wasn't cute, look at what else Fred & Friends has, a Cakewich, ha so cute, it's a gigantic PB&J! It was featured in Food Network Magazine and you can pick one up for $22.99.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Adventures in Martha Stewart Land...

So the other day I got the hairbrained idea to make some cupcakes... easy enough right... ok. I got the Devils Food cake mix and the plan was to make some strawberry cream cheese frosting. First off, you have to make sure you don't screw up the High Altitude directions, check. Then you make sure you don't burn the cupcakes, check. Then make sure they cool evenly when coming out of the oven, check. I was feeling pretty dang proud of myself at this point since I usually screw up one or all of the above any other time I make "baked" goods. Now time for the frosting...

I had a bag of frozen strawberries, a bag of confectioners sugar (a fancy word for powdered sugar), my cream cheese, and butter. I was following a recipe online that called for you to beat the cheese and butter then add the strawberries and then add in the sugar. I can do that... so I started... beat the cheese then grabbed half my bag of strawberries and blended them up and threw them in and then started adding the powdered sugar. The recipe called for 3-4 cups of sugar so I started with 1 then 2 beating away. The mixture started looking way too runny to use as frosting so I began to add a little more of the powdered sugar, I mean that should thicken it up right? No.... it didn't... but I kept rationalizing that it should and kept pouring in the powdered sugar. In fact I poured in the ENTIRE bag eventually and guess what I was left with?? A gigantic bowl of gruel.... it was still so runny it would drip off of the spoon, and taste.... oh my.... it was beyond sweet, a 2 year old wouldn't even touch this stuff.

Crap... now what... now I've got these perfect cupcakes and nothing to go on them. It occured to me that maybe I should've drained the frozen strawberries, maybe they were too watery and ruined my mixture. So now I had to start over, this time with limited ingredients. I only had half the strawberries left, I had a couple of half blocks of cream cheese in the fridge, I still had butter, and another almost empty bag of powdered sugar. So I started the recipe over, after beating the cream cheese and butter I realized the consistency at this point was really thick, then as I added in the powdered sugar it started to get runny... now wait a minute... that makes no logical sense to me (still doesn't) but nonetheless it started to get too runny (and this was with only using 1 cup of sugar instead of 4!) so I added another stick of butter and finally my mixture was a decent thickness to frost my cupcakes.

So what the hell... I followed a recipe and it turned out like crap... I don't know what those ladies ended up with but I couldn't have presented those gruel cupcakes to even my dogs. And what is up with the laws of physics, why does adding the sugar make it thinner... I'm still trying to figure that one out. And all I was trying to do was make some damn cupcakes, this isn't rocket science folks.... but apparently my Martha Stewart bone was missing from my body that day??

Apparently I need some more practice in baking... maybe ditching those home ec. classes was a bad idea, you know those classes where you say "I will NEVER in my life use this" well surprise I guess this was one life skill I should've paid more attention to in school. But check them out, they didn't turn out too shabby ey? Read more!

Fabulous Finds! Aloha Cupcakes

Welcome to the newest section on the blog, fabulous finds. (And after starting this section I have discovered that I'm not the only one coining the term "Fabulous Finds" I swear I'm not trying to plagerize the other awesome bloggers out there, I guess great minds think alike :)

I'm scouting the web for fabulous ideas, crafts, recipes, gifts, products, you name it and sharing my finds with you. I have an addicition for all things creative and have since I can remember. I LOVE to plan parties and decorate, I love to cook and scrapbook, I should have a lifetime membership credit to Joanne's and Hobby Lobby. So go ahead and enable my obession and enjoy the goodies I find, however, I take no responsibility if you too become addicted :)

And today's find... Aloha cupcakes courtesy of Bakerella (if you aren't familiar with Bakerella you are truly missing out on the coolest baked good ideas I've ever seen).

Aren't they awesome! I want to make them now! They are made using a pineapple cupcake with mango frosting but I think you could use a key lime cupcake recipe which would be equally as good. (I just made these a couple days ago, recipe to come soon!) The little flower leis are made out of fondant but I was thinking you could use candy bracelets for a similar effect that would be faster (and easier for those non Martha Stew folks out there).

I think I will be making these for an end of summer BBQ/ Luau... yep, they're going on the list. And she has a pdf print out of the little Aloha signs for you too. Read more!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Auntie's Day to all the Aunties out there!

HL would like to say I wuv you to all of his Aunties

It's the second annual Aunties Day Sunday July 25 so make sure to wish the wonderful ladies in your kiddos lives a Happy Auntie's Day! Read more!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday: Did I hear someone say wine?????

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

A wee little makeover

For the blog...

hopefully soon! (Do you have any recommendations for amazing blog make over people that don't charge an arm and a leg??) But in the meantime a badge... What do you think, does it look like us??

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet my Pterodactyl ya'll!

Here he is in all his glory.... and he does this




yea... (but check out his standing skills!)

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's "Parent Led" at our house! Schedules and our daily routine....

I've been asked for some time about our daily routine and scheduling so I thought it was time to share, you know like after the kid is 8 months old and this info is really relevant now ha! But for a lot of new mommies or ones who are looking for a new "plan" maybe it will be some helpful insight.

When I was pregnant we decided that we didn't want to do the whole "go with the flow" parenting style... I mean if you start off that way my thought is that you stay that way, and just "going with the flow" when my 16 year old son rolls in the door at 2 am was not going to happen. I also am a big believer that a child should fit into your life, not the other way around. You should take them everywhere you go, do the things you used to do, and make it work. You DONT sit at home on Friday nights because you're afraid your newborn won't be able to handle that restaurant or stray away from girls night because you're not sure that your husband can handle it all alone. So that was my philosophy going into all of this parenting stuff.

We knew right away we were going to have a schedule as opposed to just feeding him when he was hungry and letting him sleep whenever he decided to. Some people call this  "parent-led" vs.  "baby-led" parenting. To me this made life so much simpler with a newborn, things were predictable, I could plan my day, I knew what to expect and so did my child. A routine made things seem less overwhelming.  I just couldn't fathom not having a routine, I didn't want be at the grocery store and end up having to run out to the parking lot because HL decided that NOW was time to eat. Instead I could say "the kid eats at noon so we go shopping at 1 which will give me enough time to get back for nap time at 2" .... in my opinion this was a better way to do things.

And imagine this with more than one kid... how about 3.... and there's NO schedule.... oiy! The toddler is up and wanting to play, the newborn's fussing and ready to sleep, and other one is ready for a sandwich'd be cooking while simultaneously breastfeeding and playing Monopoly... could you imagine the chaos! Without a schedule to try and get them all on the same page you'd have your head spinning by 7:30am!

Now I'm not knocking those people who choose to be baby led. If it works for them then great but for me there was NO way. Things would've been too chaotic and with 12 weeks of colic I would've lost my mind for sure.

So what did we choose as a schedule? Well in the first weeks it was pretty much solely a feeding schedule since for those first several weeks they just eat and immediately pass out. We left the hospital on a 3 hour feeding schedule, 4 hours at night. So HL would eat every three hours during the day until about 10:00pm at night and we would bump it up to 4 hours so we ended up with a 2am feeding and a 6am feeding, then we were back onto 3 hours. That way the night feedings were manageable, we weren't up 8 times a night and this saved our sanity! If he got hungry in between the night feedings we would first offer a pacifier and usually this would get him to sleep for that extra hour, if not we would break the schedule and feed him and try again at the next feeding. After a day he was right on track.

At about 2-3 months babies "wake up," they start having a lot less sleeping time during the day and more play and awake time. This is where the schedule started really coming into play. We decided after reading dozens of books to combine a lot of techniques, but the one we really stuck to was the E.A.S.Y method. Eat time, Awake time, Sleep Time, You time. Essentially the point of this method is to interrupt the eating and sleeping cycle by putting awake time in between, this is to teach baby to fall asleep on their own instead of using a bottle and food to fall asleep. So we would start this method every morning when we'd get up. I would get his bottle or breastfeed and then we would play. From there I would watch his cues as well as the clock and then put him down for a nap.... and wash rinse repeat folks.

This is the schedule we are still on and it's wonderful. I also changed his routine at about 2 months to a 4 hour schedule with 5 hours at night until he was sleeping through the night (which was at about 2-3 months). Now the key to our schedule is the amount of wake time involved. This is something I wasn't sure about... I mean how long are they supposed to be awake for? I am sure it's a little different for each child and you can watch their cues to see how long it takes for them to start showing signs of being tired. I found a wonderful website (Chronicles of a Baby Wise Mom) that uses the Baby Wise techniques and it outlined a good guideline for awake times based on age. I used this guideline and also watched his cues which actually aligned exactly. We started with 1 hour of awake time and have gradually bumped the awake time up as he's gotten older, right now we're at 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Alright... what our typical day is... here you have it, this is literally what I write out for every family member that watches him and all they have to do is glance down to see what they're supposed to be doing... makes things much easier!

9:00 awake and 8 oz. bottle
11:00 down for nap
1:00 awake, 3-4 oz of baby food and 8 oz bottle
3:00 down for nap
5:00 awake, 3-4 oz of baby food and 8 oz bottle
7:00-8:00 down for night
9:00 dreamfeed* 8 oz bottle

*for the dreamfeed we keep HL as much asleep as possible, dim lights, no noise, and feed him his last bottle. He's barely awake for this feeding and goes immediately right back to sleep when he's done.

Pretty simple huh! Now I'm not a freak about it, if he doesn't fall asleep until 30 minutes after nap time, we live and if he skips a nap entirely.... we live... usually ;) But for the most part this is our day. Each day is a little different, if he wakes up at 10 instead of 9 we adjust the schedule for the day. Sometimes he will wake up an hour early from naps and that's fine. But this is what works for us.

I hope this gives some insight into a parent led schedule and our reasoning. So many of the philosophies on parent led parenting take a lot of heat for being detrimental to the baby's well being and teaching them not to trust the caregiver... I can't even tell you how much I disagree! Obviously HL is doin just fine, happy, thriving, and is much happier when we keep to his routine.

Recommended Reading: Like I said we consulted a million theories and ideas to come up with our "plan" for parenting. We use a lot of Baby Wise techniques and Baby Whisperer ideas. For sleep I like the book 12 Hours Sleep By 12 Weeks Old and there's a few others in the mix too. And definitely check out the baby wise blog mentioned above, it is AWESOME! Very easy to reference lots of info and I check back there frequently. Read more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Words To Live By...

I was given this by my Aunt and I really love this.... something to remind ourselves about....

Someone will always be prettier.

Some will always be smarter.

Some of their houses will be bigger.

Some will drive a better car.

Their children will do better in school.

And their husband will fix more things around the house.

So let it go. And love you and your circumstances.

Think about it!

The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.

And the most highly favored

Woman on your job may be unable to have children.

And the richest woman you know,

She’s got the car, the house, the clothes

Might be lonely.

And the word says, “If I have not Love, I am nothing.

So, again, love you.

Love who you are.

Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say,

‘I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed,

To be disappointed!’

Winners make things happen

Losers let things happen.

Be ‘blessed’ ladies
And pass this on to encourage

Another woman. Read more!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why Boys Need Moms

I received this as an email and I think it is so hilarious and so perfect.... for the mommas of boys!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who's ready for a sibling???

No I'm not pregnant... yet... and not expecting to be for some time but the hubbs and I have decided that we're pretty much ready to give HL a sibling. That's right friends and family members that are stalking the blog... I just said that....

We've been talking about it since before we had the boy and obviously several times since. Our original plan was to wait until HL was a year old before we started trying again, it was usually ME being the excited one and the hubbs being my anchor back to reality. He wanted the kids close together but I was the crazy one talking about jumping back in the sack (literally) when the child was 8 days old... oohh just a tad wee bit crazy. Well much to my surprise about 3 months ago the hubbs and I are eating our Subway sammy's after taking a walk with the boy and he blurts out "I think we should start trying in September"

come again???

I tried to comprehend what he said and he went on to tell me that he thinks the little dude is really awesome and he'd like another one... gotta love the simplicity of the male mind at times...

okie dokie... September... that shall be the plan

Well fast forward a month and I started thinking about things, September starting sounding eerily close, just a few months away! I panicked, I decided this was too soon and told the hubbs that we should stick with our original plan of waiting until HL is a year old in November.

Deep breath... much better plan...

Fast forward another month and whaddaya know, I changed my mind :::shocker:::: in fact this time I decided that I was ready now. I consulted the hubbs and we had a long discussion about things and we both came to the conclusion that we're TOTALLY ready now. (I can hear the madre shuddering right now... zomg no!) But now seems like the right time to start the journey again. Our main thought is that it took us 9 months to get pregnant with HL, our decision was ALWAYS to have the kids very close together, well if we wait until he's a year old to start trying and god forbid it takes us a long time again they will be more like 3 years apart instead of 1-2. Our second thought was, if we start trying now and it happens right away, then what?! And our answer to that was "AWESOME, that would be awesome!" we're both completely fine with it.

Here's the main difference this time around, we aren't "trying"... we both decided that we refuse to be "trying" this time, at least not at this point. I want to be one of those people who gets the wonderful surprise of a positive pregnancy test, I don't want to count cycle days and use ovulation testing kits, that's not NORMAL... I want to be normal, if that's at all possible.... So for now we're hoping for a happy accident.

And for those of you wondering I have not been on birth control since HL was born. I was dead set on getting Mirena and when the time came the hubbs and I decided that we weren't going to do it, we weren't going to use hormonal contraceptives considering our past fertility history and so our decision was to use natural family planning and charting to avoid for the time being. Obviously it has worked thus far...

So here we wait for a planned but unexpected surprise, quite the contradiction, but for those of you who have struggled with fertility issues you can understand. Once again we're at the mercy of the plan that God has set out for us and we will take whatever ends up coming from that!

Let the baby making process begin!!! (if it's meant to be...) Read more!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the Red White & Blue...

Happy belated 4th of July to all! Thank you to our service men and women for providing us the right to live in this amazing country, to eat hotdogs with ketchup, to drink beer, and to fly the red white and blue proudly! We spent the weekend in the Colorado mountains and watched the fireworks from our boat in the middle of Grand Lake... beautiful...

I was about 4 months pregnant last year watching them in the same lake in the same boat and it was just as cold, but this year we had one more life jacket and one beautiful happy little boy who watched it all in awe in between gulps of Enfamil...

We got in some fishing, some grilling, some beer drinking, some movie watching, and some much needed R & R, and of course HL had to help Daddy drive the boat while we were parked in the marina, just a wonderful weekend.

Before we took off to the mountains we caught a Rockies game, HL's very first day at the ballpark! I have to say his first time wasn't the greatest, he absolutely hated the screaming and hollering... home runs = death.... and he didn't quite take the obnoxious drunk man in the seat in front of us who insisted on yelling his coaching insight at every outfielder in the park. I secretly hoped that HL would puke his entire bottle of formula on the man's head but alas we made it through.

Of course this was the 4th of July weekend so there must be a fireworks show at the end of the game, I held my breath as the big screen flashed on the warning "Tonight's fireworks show involves loud noises, percussion bursts, and falling debris" GREAT this should go over well. And what do you know the child sat there calmly the entire show, without a PEEP.... the fireworks which were 100 times louder than the cheering went over just fine... go figure! He loved it!

And of course they had to play my favorite 4th of July song and make me cry and embarass me in front of the obnoxious drunk man but it was a surreal feeling to have my son in my arms this time to see the fireworks, my blonde haired, blue eyed, All American boy.... Read more!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blogmania Sponsor: Once Upon A Hook

Up next is one of our fabulous Blogmania sponsors!!

Once Upon A Hook creates the most adorable hand knit and crocheted stuff you could want, it's like having a grandma on call to make you all of those nice old fashioned baby goods! They have some really adorable hats especially for the holidays, check out their snowman hats and monster hats for halloween. For the girls there are strawberry hats and ladybug hats, so precious! My favorite are the personalized ones and monogrammed ones, you could get one for the whole family and do an uber cheesy but ridiculously cute Christmas card!

So go and check out all of their cuuute stuff including their baby booties and scarves and start preparing for the holidays or just splurge on some cuteness for your little one!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday ;)

My handsome little man, 7 mos old...

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